02/03/2010 at 12:41 am (Astronomy) (, , , , , , )

The best way to welcome the month of March was by star gazing. It was a lovely night and a lot of stars were visible.

While I’m not an expert or even a beginner in the study of astronomy, I still love the stars – and capable of finding my favourites among them.

Here’s a picture of my favourite star — Aldebaran (also known as Alpha Tauri). Of course I love the sun, but it doesn’t look like a star. Aldebaran is very big (its  diameter 40 times that of our sun) and orange in colour. Can be easily identified because it lies between the Orion constellation and Pleiades (the seven Sisters star cluster) on the head of Taurus constellation. It’s the brightest star in Taurus constellation as well as one of the brightest stars in the sky (approx. 13th brightest) despite the distance of 65 light years.

Aldebaran - The most beautiful star

The Taurus Constellation - the very bright red star is Aldebaran. The blue cluster of stars is Pleiades.

Here’s another picture for people like me – lovers of stars but not really into the serious stuff.

Animated image showing the location of Taurus.

None of the images above are mine. The links are given with the images and provide more details of the beautiful star.

The Arabic name Aldebaran literally means “the follower”,  since it seems to be following the Pleiades. The role of Aldebaran changes from legend to legend. But in most of these Aldebaran is  “the follower”.

I first came across the name while watching Ben-Hur. One of the four chariot horses were named Aldebaran (other three are Rigel, Altair, Antares).

A big thank goes to my brother who is interested in astronomy. He taught me how to read the map and find the stars.

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